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Spiralling costs mirror spiral of despair

The controversial cost of offshore processing needs to be recognised for what it is; billions of dollars spent to needlessly punish vulnerable people in an attempt to make a political point, the Greens said today.

 “Labor and Liberals’ race to the bottom is costing billions of dollars,” the Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

 “Shutting down these expensive and cruel camps and having time limits on detention would save the Australian tax payer billions.

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Refugees’ health; we should care

A Senate inquiry report has been released today in which the Greens recommend an independent panel be urgently created to oversee the physical and mental health of refugees in detention offshore.

“It was made clear during this inquiry that the Australian Government has been failing in its duty of care to the people we have locked up in detention centres offshore,” the Greens immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

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Dangerous returns to Sri Lanka must stop

The Government has been forced to acknowledge it has been using shadowy processes to deport Tamil refugees to Sri Lanka where they face torture, imprisonment and worse, the Australian Greens said today.

“The Government must change the law to ensure that genuine refugees are not deported back to danger,” the Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

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Government halts Sri Lankan deportations after High Court challenge

The Government has agreed to actually look into the asylum claims of 56 Sri Lankan refugees after they lodged a High Court challenge, appealing their forced removal from Australia.

“This is an important step in recognising the rights of these 56 people to have their claims for asylum assessed, but what about the 600 others we have already sent back?” the Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

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Christmas cards to Christmas Island; supporting refugees in detention

The Greens are calling on Australians to help in sending messages of hope to refugees who are locked up in our nation’s detention centres this Christmas.

“It’s important for us to let refugees know that there are many Australians who genuinely care about them,” the Greens’ human rights spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“I am asking Australians to write a message of hope to refugees, send it to my office and I will then send them to Nauru, Manus Island, Christmas Island and our other detention centres.

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Government must intervene in Nauru crisis

The worsening situation on Nauru has reached a critical point with reports that a man who has been on a hunger strike for almost 50 days in in real danger of losing his life, the Australian Greens said today.

 “There is a person’s life hanging in the balance and I am calling on Minister Bowen to forget the politics of this debate for just one moment and intervene,” the Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

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Motion: Human rights in Iran

Senator Rhiannon: To move—

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) with deep concern the human rights situation in Iran, including the use of the death penalty, the intimidation and arbitrary arrest of human rights and political activists, and the treatment of minorities,

(ii) with particular concern the situation of Ms Nasrin Sotoudeh, the Iranian human rights lawyer who has campaigned for ‘freedom, social security, the rule of law and justice’, and who has been imprisoned since 4 September 2010,

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Australia condemns Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill

The Australian Parliament has voted this afternoon to support a Greens’ motion condemning the Ugandan and Nigerian Anti-Gay Bills.

 “It is genuinely horrifying that there are Governments in this world that want to punish and imprison people simply for being who they are,” the Greens’ human rights and LGBTI spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

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Government votes in favour of breaking the law to punish refugees

The Greens know that it is illegal in international law to withhold the right to work from refugees, but today the Government voted to continue down a worrying path of punishing refugees.

“The Government has clearly made a choice; they are willing to break the law to punish vulnerable refugees to win votes,” the Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

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